Wichita, KS - HDTV - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 3101 Old 08-08-2003, 04:07 PM
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I'll be curious how they roll it out. Buy or rent I want to see the price of their packages. I still think Satellite will be cheaper on a monthly basis and my initial outlay of money on equipment will pay for itself.

Maybe Cox will be competitive with their packages now that Dish Network will be offering locals in the next few months (DirecTV will soon follow I would presume). We'll have to wait and see.

I'm curious. If you cannot get locals OTA, why haven't you gone to satellite sooner? Would you not qualify?

I wish you all the best of luck. I know I'm happy, and only need my HD Tivo to complete the package

BTW - I haven't seen any baseball yet in HD I think ESPN's Sunday night game is broadcast in HD and I can't wait.

Doug
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post #362 of 3101 Old 08-08-2003, 05:02 PM
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Well, as I recall, Cox is making people buy equipment in Oklahoma City, so it's likely they will here also. I know I'd rather buy a good D* receiver. From reading posts on this forum, I think the current generation of HD cable boxes are not nearly as good as the D* receivers.

I'd also like to have some sort of HD recorder. In the mean time, I've built an HTPC that records in 720x480 which should be fairly equivilent to the record quality of a Tivo. I can record 30+ hours (200 gig drive) and picture quality when recording from an HD channel is close to DVD quality. Unfortunately no DD5.1 though.

Dave G.
P.S. Yes, the Sunday night games are in HD.
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post #363 of 3101 Old 08-08-2003, 08:19 PM
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I believe the potential is there for an computer HD card to record a cable signal, although I don't know of any that can. It's certain than none can record an HD signal from DirecTV or Dish. That'd be one reason for me to go with cable.

The most compelling reason to go with cable vs satellite is if, like Timmy, you are unable to pick up the local OTA HD channels. It's not feasable for satellite to offer local channels in high definition, and that's not a situation that's likely to change for a VERY l-o-n-g time. That is not an issue for me personally since I am able to pick up the local HD feeds with a modest attic-mounted antenna.

Another reason to go with cable is you get a nice discount ($10 per month, I think) off your Internet service if you subscribe to cable, except for Basic Cable.

Satellite charges an extra $5 per month for each additional decoder. If cable does not charge extra, this will make cable attractive for those with muliple TV's.

If you don't already have a dish, cable is going to look pretty attractive, even if it is slightly more expensive (say no more than $5 to $10) on a monthly basis. Hooking up a dish is certainly no big deal, certainly not as painful as the Cox ads make out, but it does mean running cables down the outside of your house, fiching wires, mounting an antenna for the local channels, and buying a decoder box for every TV, high definition or not, so it is more complex than cable.

I will be sticking with DirecTV for a year since I am contractually obligated to do so, but if Cox has their act together and provides a quality signal, a good selection of programming, and a price competitive with DSS, it'll be pretty much a no-brainer to switch to cable. Cable has a huge advantage over satellite, but maybe that's why Cox service sucks so bad. It's necessary in order for them to create a level playing field!

David
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post #364 of 3101 Old 08-09-2003, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
but if Cox has their act together and provides a quality signal, a good selection of programming, and a price competitive with DSS, it'll be pretty much a no-brainer to switch to cable.

When is the last time any cable company came even close to providing all of these options/features at one time? I guess this is at the heart of the issue. I have little faith Cox will provide anything competitive.

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Another reason to go with cable is you get a nice discount ($10 per month, I think) off your Internet service if you subscribe to cable, except for Basic Cable.

The discount used to be $20 per month. Did the Internet magically get harder to reach? I know there are growth and infrastructure costs, but at $10-20 more per month per cable Internet subscriber in the Wichita area, equals probably paid for a long time ago. Until SBC get's their act together and provides better DSL coverage, Cox does not have to be competitive and will not. Plus what's up with a discount anyway? When I go to Dillons they don't charge me extra for my produce if I didn't by my steaks from them!! OK, now I digress.

Alright Dave, I'll give you the extra $5 per month for each satellite receiver. That's annoying. And the complexity issue of satellite compared to cable. This will definitely scare some people away.

But, if you compare cost vs. services rendered, I think satellite offers a better product and I don't see Cox stepping up to the plate and being competitive any time soon. So to say cable has a HUGE advantage is a stretch IMO.

OK. Enough crap about Cox and satellite. On my TS160 I have the option of HD output in 1080i, 720p etc. I currently have been watching everything with it set to 1080i. Everything looks good, I'm sorry, GREAT Has anyone played around with this setting and found any performance gains? Losses? I've switched it over to 720p and don't really see much difference but I haven't tried it on all HD channels.

Dave - Braves/Cardinals Sunday night. Not a bad game for my first foray into HD baseball. I'm stoked!

Doug
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post #365 of 3101 Old 08-09-2003, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Frazld
Alright Dave, I'll give you the extra $5 per month for each satellite receiver. That's annoying. And the complexity issue of satellite compared to cable. This will definitely scare some people away.

Cox must be different than TWC in KC. When I had TWC they charged, IIRC, $5 for every digital receiver you had in your house. So for me that was not a cost issue difference between cable and satellite.

And I get 1.5Mbps down and 256Kbps up on my DSL for $39.95/mo through SBC. If I wanted to reduce the down to 768 and the up to 128 I could get it for $29.95/mo. Screw cable!

Captain Kirk: "Once again we've saved civilization as we know it."
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post #366 of 3101 Old 08-09-2003, 10:07 AM
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Cox is the same way. You can get analog on each tv for free but if you want a digital box on each Tv, they do charge $5 for each one.
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post #367 of 3101 Old 08-09-2003, 02:28 PM
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Yea, the thing that's being overlooked is when you switch to digital cable (HD or otherwise), it has all the same problems/shortcomings as DSS systems. Also, as I said before, generally the receivers are not as well developed either.

The only advantage of switching to Cox will be the cable modem discount and the locals if you can't get them with an antenna.

Dave G.
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post #368 of 3101 Old 08-11-2003, 04:06 AM
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I was attempting to be objective. Other than the entertainment value of playing the Devil's Advocate, I have little desire to defend a company I have little love loss for.

If Cox flubs HD, I will strongly consider switching to DSL for my Internet service. Without the discount, it's hard for me to overlook the often pathetic performance of my Internet connection. It used to be really fast, but a friend commented the other day "my modem is faster than that". I think he was exagerating, but I wouldn't wager any of my own money that he statement was false.

The primary inherent advantage I see for cable is that they have superior useable bandwidth to play with. How many more HD channels can DirecTV offer? My sources tell me the answer is "none", not without dropping multiple existing channels for each HD channel. I was strongly in favor of the DirecTV, Dish merger since this would have given the combined entity the resources necessary to compete with cable. DirecTV and Dish compete with each other, but I don't feel the individual companies can effectively compete with cable. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

David
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post #369 of 3101 Old 08-13-2003, 07:07 PM
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Fresh info from a Cox employee:

Good News:
Cox now has HD sets on their property for testing. They are asking for Cox employees to be testers in their homes.

Bad News:
Cox are wanting their employees to pay $500 for the box. OUCH!

Vern
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post #370 of 3101 Old 08-13-2003, 10:30 PM
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I would die to know the make and model of the HD cable boxes they are testing...(hint hint)

David
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post #371 of 3101 Old 08-15-2003, 05:36 PM
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Just to make things more interesting... I talked to a guy I know who owns a home theater company in town. He said he's been approached by COX to be a reseller of the HD boxes. Apparently COX DOES NOT want to sell $500 boxes to us and deal with setup and compatibility issues. This conversation was supposedly with the COX regional manager over Kansas and Nebraska.

I don't know what to make of that.
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post #372 of 3101 Old 08-15-2003, 05:48 PM
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I would expect COX to rent the boxes for some period of time, offer a purchase program at some point, and for the boxes to eventually be available at Best Buy. Unless of course COX goes with a proprietary box, which IMO would be seriously stupid. COX doesn't want to be in the equipment rental business. They want to be in the business of selling services. Initially they may even have to subsidize the cost of the decoders in order to induce people to pay the extra monthly subscription fees. An analogy is a security company taking a loss on installing a security system in return for a revenue stream. It may take two years to break even, but after that it's all gravy.

David
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post #373 of 3101 Old 08-16-2003, 06:49 AM
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As of this morning KAKE-HDTV (ABC) is on channel 601. Nothing yet on the other locals.
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post #374 of 3101 Old 08-18-2003, 10:54 AM
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Well, I called Cox again this morning.

I inquired about HDTV availability. The person I talked to confirmed the September date. I then asked whether they would be leasing the HDTV decoders or if I would have to buy the equipment. I was told that "the digital set top box that you already have will work for you, as long as your TV is ready for HDTV." Knowing this was wrong, I asked him to confirm that with someone else. He put me on hold and, upon return, emphatically restated that the current STB that Cox provides will work for HDTV.

At that point, I realized that I needed to get out of this conversation without asking any further technical questions.

I'm on hold with Cox right now, as I type, in hopes of finding someone who knows his a$$ from an HDTV Decoder.

Regards. Jay.
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post #375 of 3101 Old 08-18-2003, 11:53 AM
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Okay, I called back and talked to another guy. He seemed to be 'in the know'. Apparently, Cox will NOT be leasing the HD STBs. He said that Circuit City will be providing the boxes for sale. They will be using the Motorola DCT5100.

I searched Circuit City's web site, but could not find pricing or availability for the 5100.

Anyone out there know where these boxes can be purchased?
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post #376 of 3101 Old 08-18-2003, 08:31 PM
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I have not been able to find a source for the DCT 5100, but I did find a couple of references to prices being in the $300 to $400 range. There's tons of information available on this box.

Although the 5100 has only been around for about a year, I have already seen references to a 6000 series, one model to replace the 5100. Other models in the 6000 series will include PVR capability, one via an external firewire hard drive (model 6200) and the other with an integral hard drive (model 6208).

The DCT 5100 is pretty full featured. It has Component and DVI outputs, optical audio, USB connectors, 10/100 Ethernet (built-in DOCSIS modem), and I believe IEEE-1394.

David
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post #377 of 3101 Old 08-18-2003, 08:44 PM
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According to this document, the DCT6200 will be out "2nd half '03" and will replace the DCT5100. This is also where I saw the $300-$400 price.

Digital set-top boxes

The big thing the 6200 offers is PVR functionality with the addition of an external IEEE-1394 hard drive. The processor is 2.5 times faster.

I have to revise something I said about the 5100. I'm not so sure it includes 1394 or DVI connectors. A photo of the back panel on Motorola's website did not show these connectors, and some press releases on the 6200 say it "adds 1394-DTV and DVI interfaces", further confirming the absense of these interfaces on the 5100.

David


Edit: According to DCT5100 FAQ
"DVI enabled boxes started being produced in Jan of 2003"
"Firewire IEEE-1394, Printer port, & HPNA ports, will not be provided or supported."
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post #378 of 3101 Old 08-19-2003, 08:52 AM
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David,
Cox is setting the price at $499 in other markets, so I would assume that would the local price. I am not sure if we could buy one elsewhere and use it here or not.

tim
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post #379 of 3101 Old 08-19-2003, 10:14 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by haysdb
I believe the potential is there for an computer HD card to record a cable signal, although I don't know of any that can. It's certain than none can record an HD signal from DirecTV or Dish. That'd be one reason for me to go with cable.

David

I have the MyHD MDP-100 and I can record anything. I can record OTA HD content (via transport stream) and cable too (via .avi or .mpg - I don't know which since i have never actual done it). If you mean digital cable, then I think you are correct, they don't record digital cable, though they should, it shouldn't be that hard.
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post #380 of 3101 Old 08-19-2003, 12:43 PM
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Thanks for the info David and Tim.

That's a pretty steep price to pay, especially for a box that is on the way to being obsolete (the 5100, I mean). I really hope that I would be allowed to pick up a 6200 somewhere and use that. I would love to have PVR functionality along with HD.

Regards. Jay.
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post #381 of 3101 Old 08-19-2003, 04:05 PM
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A PVR that can record HD (and retain HD PQ and DD5.1) would be a big plus. I'm guessing it would be around $1000 though, so better start saving your pennys.

Dave G.
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post #382 of 3101 Old 08-19-2003, 07:51 PM
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I have a dct 5100 free from Comcast



Send me a Moto 62xx and I wll pay $1000!!!
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post #383 of 3101 Old 08-19-2003, 08:18 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by talon95
A PVR that can record HD (and retain HD PQ and DD5.1) would be a big plus. I'm guessing it would be around $1000 though, so better start saving your pennies.

Dave G.

That might not be so far out of line for a 6208, but that would be an astronomical price for the 6200 which does not include a hard drive. I'm guessing $700 at first, dropping into the $500 range and replacing the 5100 12 months out. As long as the cable companies or their assignees have a corner on the market, prices will remain high, but if and when it's possible to buy the boxes at Best Buy or Ultimate Electronics, prices will drop quickly. Ultimately the market will not support $500 and up per cable box. The "early adopters" will pay, but the broader market will not. There is a lot of R&D to recover, but Motorola will literally sell millions of these things, and the price to manufacture each box can't be much more than an X-Box or PlayStation 2.

Having said that, I'm surprised that DirecTV HD boxes haven't moderated in price much since their release, so maybe all of this will take longer than I think. I keep hoping the market for HD will reach some "critical mass" and HD boxes will become commodities.

David
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post #384 of 3101 Old 08-20-2003, 04:00 PM
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I think "Critical Mass" for HD is going to take a while David. Outside of this forum I know of no one that has or is willing to spill for an HD setup. Most of my friends come over, say ooh and ahh but all decline to next year at the earliest for pulling the trigger.

Maybe with Cox coming on board the "General" populace will jump on board a little quicker.

$1000 for a cable HD PVR does not sound too far from what I'm hearing for the DirecTV HD Tivo due out early 2004. The cheapest I've seen anything posted for an HD PVR unit of any kind is $800. And of course this is all still conjecture.

Doug
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post #385 of 3101 Old 08-20-2003, 04:26 PM
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When I made the $1000 guestimate, that was for a PVR with an internal HD similar to a Tivo. If they would make a box that had firewire out, that could be just as good for me since I have an HTPC with a 200gig drive now. Of course I'm not sure what the chances are of that happening with all the copyright B.S.

Dave G.
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post #386 of 3101 Old 08-20-2003, 10:14 PM
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The 6200 has PVR functionality but no integral hard drive. The 6208 is the same unit but with an 80 GB internal hard drive. $1000 is a reasonable number for the 6208.

100% of ABC's and CBS's "scripted" prime-time offerings this fall will be in High Definition. Beginning in September, if the "rumors" hold true, HD will be available to cable subscribers in Wichita. Prices on HDTV's have continued to fall. It's now impossible to NOT see HD when shopping for a new TV, and the price differential is no longer the obstacle it was say two years ago. HD will begin to gain serious momentum as all these factors come into play. Will 2003 be the turning point? Probably not, but I believe 2004 will. Perhaps NBC and FOX will even start offering some HD next season.

David
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post #387 of 3101 Old 08-22-2003, 04:46 PM
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Well Guys, I think I have finally come to a different decision.

Despite all my research and wailing and gnashing of teeth over my desire for HDTV, I believe I have decided to wait.

I mean, with the limited amount of HD content available, I think the price-to-performance ratio is not there for me. A $500 equipment charge + additional monthly programming charges from COX isn't going to cut it for me, at least not until more HD content is available.

I think I have decided to just say 'heck with it' and go with satellite and a good PVR for now and just let HDTV 'grow up' for another year or so.

Also, I have to confess that I visited a friend in Dallas this week and I fell in love with his Dish Network PVR. I really think that setup is going to offer more bang for my buck.

Regards. Jay.
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post #388 of 3101 Old 08-22-2003, 04:56 PM
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The DishNetwork PVR is cool and a step in the right direction for them, but does not even come close to Tivo.

I have had a stand alone Tivo for almost a year and I don't know how I would live without it now. A friend of mine has the DirecTV Tivo and with it's two tuners and DirecTV tie ins, well, it's pretty slick.

Don't know if you have researched Tivo at all but even with the extra monthly fee or if you choose the one time lifetime charge (like I did) it is well worth it.

Doug
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post #389 of 3101 Old 08-22-2003, 06:47 PM
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Actually I haven't researched Tivo all that much. I guess I should look at it. What does it do that the Dish PVR won't do? By the way, I'm looking at the 721 (two tuner) model.
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post #390 of 3101 Old 08-22-2003, 08:07 PM
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I think the Tivo has better software, I have not heard very good things about the Dish Network PVR's. I have a directv tivo and I would not give it up for anything(well, maybe for my kids, but I'd have to think about that one).

They are awesome.
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